Monday, February 28, 2011

A "tax" to promote real Christmas Trees?

I just finished reading an article where the promotional arm of the Christmas Tree providers of America think they need a 15 cent tax on each Christmas Tree sold to raise money to promote the purchase of REAL Christmas trees. Seems like the sale of real trees is way down and the only way they think they can offset or reverse this trend is to get the government to set up this tax, which would fund the promotional effort. Really!

Want more Christmas Tree sales? Put "Christmas" back into what has become the "holiday" season. As the Secularists succeed in their agenda to do away with "Christ" and "Christmas" as celebrated (well, as USED to be celebrated) in the United States, fewer and fewer people are "into" the holiday except as a way of getting free stuff. Years ago, the week before Christmas was a time of family activity: going out and looking for just the right tree, setting it up, taking a full evening together to decorate it with all those reminders of people and years gone by...a time for reverence and remembrance. It was "magic." And for the majority of Americans, it is gone. Now many don't even bother with trees, much less lights. No more "family" time, no more reverence, nothing...just give me the gift...or gifts, ...or money...and then back to the ipod, internet, or ... to work. A tax to promote Christmas Trees???? Don't make me laugh.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Why allow the deficit?

Words, words, words...that is all you hear from politicians.  I guess I should be pleased that at least they are mouthing ones that say what I consider to be the right thing...but is there, or will there be, actions that back those words up?  These are politicians, after all...

As I child I was taught, and my life has confirmed, that there is a big difference between desirable expenses and essential expenses; that when money is short, desireable expenses go first and then, when things get really tight you have to prioritize the essentials, because some of those are going to have to be cut or eliminated too. Our government apparently never learned that lesson. And what is worse is that the American people have forgotten it.

There is not one family or one thinking individual that believes that you can ignore spending more than you take in and not have consequences...bad, very bad consequences to both you as an individual and to your family. Yet, we allow our government to perpetrate the myth that somehow the federal government can do it and there is no problem. Hello? Anyone waking up? Anyone in GOVERNMENT waking up? Words won't solve the overspending, we need to see our representatives ACT by NOT SPENDING.

For those under 50, set 70 as the age for maximum SS payments. For Medicare and Medicaid make citizenship a requirement for benefits. Go after the fraud in the medical industry. Eliminate the useless Department of Education: for every tax dollar only 32 cents comes back as a benefit, so without the taxes the local communities would have three times the money to use AS THEY SEE FIT. Cut defense spending...pull our troops back from Pakistan (they don't want us) and Afghanistan (they don't want us, and we can't smash Al Queda anyway) and promise if they act to effect the US we will vaporize them...let them decide if they want a future or not. Put our troops on our border with orders to kill drug smugglers...and let them do their job of protecting the U.S., not foreign countries...stop funding troops in Germany, South Korea and other places.

We aren't the world's Santa Claus and we AREN'T making friends around the world with our money...stop giving it to them.

Our Government and our President seems to have a God complex. They're wrong. Just take care of America and the American people and let the world be...they aren't stupid and they can take care of themselves.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Beware the laws of unintended consequences. When 
a minority results to mob rule, the leave open the 
possibility of angering the majority. If that happens, 
and the MAJORITY riots, the minority will find itself 
overwhelmed by its own unleashed lawlessness as a 

These greedy people, enjoying a much better lifestyle 

because of their higher level of benefits and pay, 
achieved not by work but by group extortion, think 
they are entitled to keep that higher status at the 
expense of the taxpayer. Even as they complain 
about failure to tax the "rich", they ignore the fact 
that to the rest of the taxpaying public THEY are 
the rich.

As for Wisconsin, the changes that they are asked 

to ENDURE (yeah...some hardship) is to pay HALF 
of the contribution private sector folks have to pay 
for retirement and healthcare. Some hardship. And 
their rights are protected BY LAW, NOT the UNIONS. 
So that union contract adds little to their protections 
as workers.

Keep the National Democratic Party's out-of-state 

infiltrators helps confirm the nature of the 
Leftists in this country and reveals them for just what 
they are...opportunists.

Friday, February 11, 2011

It really was the Government's fault...

Our current recession could not have begun without the bad policies, blindly and foolishly implemented, of the Federal Government.  President Clinton and Democrat Leaders pushed, beginning in 1993, for more low income and minority home ownership.  They passed the Community Reinvestment Act and gave Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac the mission to facilitate low income and minority home ownership by requiring them to purchase what we refer to now as sub-prime loans.

Under Clinton Administration pressure, regulators had to come up with new lending rules, under which banks had to show that they had made a required number of loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers, and that they had come up with innovative or flexible ways to accomplish this.  HUD pressed for new mortgage lending policies under the 1994 National Homeownership Strategy developed at Clinton's request.  Among other things, it called for financing strategies, fueled by the creativity and resources of the private and public sectors, to help homeowners that lack cash to buy a home and to make the payments.

First result:  Homeownership during the Clinton Administration went up 5%( as a comparison, home ownership during the Bush Presidency went up 1%);
Second result:  Sub-prime loans made to borrowers with bad credit records rose from 7.2% to nearly 19%.
Standards for other loans fell as well.  Freddie and Fannie eagerly, as instructed by the Federal Government, bought all these loans.

Yes, of course the investment banks and wall street come up with a way of making these obviously bad investments look good by creating the device know as derivatives.  Yes, they were both foolish and greedy.  Yes, they acted like gamblers instead of bankers...but that is merely a matter of degree of risk, not really much more than admitting what has been true all along.

But here is the key...absent Barney Frank's committee and resulting House action coupled by action in the Senate honcho'd by Dodd, the opportunity for bad credit risks, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Investment Banks and Wall Street to act badly would NOT have occurred.  End of story.

 Dodd is gone...Frank remains.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Evangelical Atheists?

Read an interesting article recently where the author was declaring his contempt for evangelical atheists...sort of poking fun as well as annoyance at their actions which parallel some community-based religious activities.  It started me thinking (always a danger)...

First, I must disagree with the use of the word, "evangelize", as it is specific to attempting to convert non- or un-believers to faith in the gospels. It has no logical application to his description of some atheists' actions; certainly they are doing just the contrary. The word that seems most appropriate is "proselytize." And Athiests, and believers in all faiths attempt that all the time.

There is a difference between "informing" and "proselytizing." If I am in a conversation with another and an act of mine is based on religious belief, I may explain that portion of my belief as an explanation of my act or actions. That is informing, and if the other individual asks more questions, my answers continue to be informative, not proselytizing.

On the other hand, if I or any other person injects or creates the subject of religion into a conversation and puts forth his or her religion as necessary for a good life and a successful "hereafter," if he or she tries to "convert" me (as evangelical Christians, Muslims, and proselytizing atheists do) then I do get annoyed. On the edge of unacceptability is the one time declaration of one's faith. I have known some who do that and then do not raise the subject again. I find that to be actually quite informative...about the person as well as their faith...even though they might have chosen a more appropriate time to broach the subject.

But...and here is the main is not just atheists who are guilty of is all religions. And, if you want to think broadly about it, the same goes for political ideologies, nutritional advocates (read: vegetarians, organic, etc.), and recyclists...and I am sure there are many others.

Proselytizing is annoying. And it often becomes a harassing fanaticism that is more than objectionable. Those who take part are to be avoided and ignored...not for their persons but for their attitude that they and only they are qualified to command all others in the path by whatever name. Some, like the Islamists, are to be feared and watched; others, like the vegetarians and food police, are to be defended against in the name of personal freedom; and atheists and religious groups are to be asked nicely to either go away, or excuses made to leave the group being assailed. But contempt is a word that carries an aura of personal distaste, and my annoyance is with behavior, not with judging the person.